Friday, August 28, 2009

Dobos Torte

A traditioanl Dobos Torte is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel.

My version is a six-layer sponge cake brushed with coffee syrup, layered chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel pieces. I baked the sponge layers in a sheet pan.

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

Thank you ladies. It's delicious cake.


To see the original recipe please click here.

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner's (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (Subs. 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt
1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).

2.Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner's (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes.
4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner's (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
5.Using a small offset spatula, spread the batter amongst the sheet pans. Bake on the top rack for 7 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. Completely cool the layers.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.
1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.

2.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.
3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.
4.Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.
5.When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons/30g) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Coffee Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs instant espresso coffee
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.Stir in the espresso.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
  • 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine the water,sugar and lemon juice and stir to dissolve the sugar. Boil until the mixture turns amber brown about 10 min. Remove the heat and pour the caramel out onto the lined baking sheet.

Assemble the Torte

1.Divide the buttercream into seven equal parts.
2.Brush the layer coffee syrup. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 5 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake. And sprinkle the top with caramel .
3.Freeze the cake for an 4 hour to make it easier to cut.

Serving options: Cut the cake lengthwise in half. Transfer one half to a serving platter. Stack the remaining half on top, to get 12 layers of cake. Sprinkle the top with caramel pieces. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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